DistancesBetween To Offer More Travel Modes Through Mobile App
DistancesBetweeen is driven by the desire to tackle these challenges in the travel space along with saving time, money and providing comfort to travelers.
The Indian market is growing and so are the requirements of an Indian traveler. Since the existing travel platforms only allow single-mode search of flights, trains and buses, more than 100 million consumers who want to plan their door-to-door travel face difficulty in combining multiple modes of travel such as flight, train, bus, rideshare and rental car.
Established in February 2016, by Bharatt Kumaar Malik and Sachin Mathur, ex founding member of yatra.com and Bluetooth Stack respectively. DistancesBetweeen is driven by the desire to tackle these challenges in the travel space along with saving time, money and providing comfort to travelers.
BWDisrupt's Soumya Gupta interacted with Bharatt Kumaar Malik, Founder and CEO DistancesBetween.com to know how this model works and more about their future plans.
BW: Tell us something about your journey from inception till now?
Ans: Trips are always door-to-door. Since almost nobody has an airport or a major train station directly in front on their house, any such door-to-door journey has to involve multiple transport means, it needs to be multi-modal (we prefer intermodal). Traditionally, planning and undertaking such door-to-door journey has been a complicated, exhausting endeavor.
Past experience at a leading OTA along with insightful data research made it clear there didn’t exist a journey planner that simply shows all your travel options from door to door. Travelers are still looking at various portals/blogs even friends and family, and spend 40-60 minutes in discovering, planning & booking entire trip (Including first and last mile- often the most tedious part).
Distancesbetween.com aspires to provide seamless & relevant travel options from door to door anywhere & everywhere. The portal also provides price comparison from relevant operators so that users can book their travel at the same time.
BW: Tell us some more about how does it work?
Ans: Recent advances in journey planning technology (powered by artificial intelligence), door-to-door journey planning is finally possible also in countries like India, in which no centralized authority managing information about all (public) transport services. Distances Between has launched a beta version of a door-to-door planner and is about to bring seamless door-to-door travel, already known from some advanced markets (primarily in Europe), to India.
BW: How was it started?
Ans: The Indian market is growing and so are the requirements of an Indian traveler. Since the existing travel platforms only allow single-mode search of flights, trains and buses, more than 100 million consumers who want to plan their door-to-door travel face difficulty in combining multiple modes of travel such as flight, train, bus, rideshare and rental car.
BW: What is your USP and how are you different from your competitors in this segment?
Ans: Identifying loopholes in the existing travel domain, DistancesBetween developed its USPs, simultaneously bridging the gaps viz. DistancesBetween provides with a Multimodal platform which allows you to book your bus, flight, train and taxi all in One Go and One Platform. It allows you to plan and pre-book your entire door to door itinerary. Routing Intelligence. Perfectly fits the bill of your traveler’s companion. Mobile app to provide real time mobility updates on booking, travel time, delays and attraction etc.
BW: What is your funding status currently?
BW: Can you share your Monetization Model with us?
Ans: We work with the Advertisements & Affiliate commission as of now.
BW: What kind of traction do you have at the present?
Ans: DistancesBetween witnesses 50k visitors and 6000 trips on a daily basis and has 12000 registered users to date.
BW: Tell us about the future plans you have in mind?
Ans: Add more transport partners and expand its offering to hotels, points of interest and local content among other ancillary services. Along with plans to enhance the algorithm by introducing self-learning, user generated content and multiplying transport providers, DistancesBetween envisions offering more travel modes under one integrated booking and Mobile APP to increase engagement of search platform.
BW: What are your Marketing Plans as of now?
Ans: We believe India's travel market is still fragmented and haven't adopted any multi-modal Journey planners. There is a definite chance to get a foothold once the awareness about multi-modal trip planners is spread.
Distancesbetween.com will raise awareness using both on-line and offline channels to reach its customers. We intend to explore SEO, Social media channels in phase one and start with offline channels in phase 2.
BW: Tell us something on the Challenges front, how did you overcome them?
Ans: The key challenge faced was to get up-to-date data from India’s vast un-organized transportation suppliers.
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